SUP Women | Annie Starr Reickert

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Photo: Chris Reickert

SUP Women | Annie Starr Reickert

At just 15 years old, Annie Reickert is a fierce force to reckon with. In the past year alone the Maui native took home the win at the Santa Cruz Paddlefest, and charged 25-foot waves at Outer Sprecks, one of Maui's most powerful big waves. When it comes to the future, the young paddler has big plans. She hopes to win the ISA Worlds next year, surf the ever-famous Jaws, and ultimately, become the Standup World Champion. —Rebecca Parsons

Photo: Chris Reichert

Photo: Chris Reickert

Tell us about your athletic background.

I started surfing at two on the front of my parent's boards. At the age of 11 I got a SUP board for the first time and I fell in love with it. I still surf today, but standup paddling is my main thing.

Maui is a huge mecca for water sports. Why SUP?

I love standup paddling so much because there are so many different things you can do with the sport. On Maui you can go anywhere on a SUP: you can go on a downwinder, surf, or go explore the west shore and paddle along the cliffs.

What does a typical training week look like for you?

It depends on the time of year. If it's wintertime, I'll be surfing every single day and in the gym two times a week, with occasional harbor training. In summertime, I really ramp it up. I'll usually be in the harbor two times a week, in the gym two times a week and doing downwinders, one after another.

Photo: Chris Reichert

Photo: Chris Reickert

Why did you choose to go the homeschool route?

I started homeschooling in 9th grade, which was last year. I started because I felt like if I took off a year of school I would be able to put 100 percent of my time into the sport I love. It really helped me and I'm still doing it after year two. It gives me so much more time to practice and work on my training, sprints, and wave skills. It's a really perfect setup.

Surfing or racing?

I think because Maui winters are so incredible I'd say surfing is more my thing. It's so much fun to go out there and get perfect waves, one after another. But I absolutely love the racing too, especially in a place like this where it's always windy and super fun.

Do you have someone who you view as a role model for the sport?

My top-three would be Kai Lenny, Rob Naish, and Dave Kalama.

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Photo: Chris Reickert

What attracts you about big-wave surfing?

I got into it about a year ago when I started riding for Naish. I would watch Kai, Robby, and Dave out at Lanes and Kai and Robby at Jaws. It was absolutely crazy to watch them do the things they do on a standup board. Last winter I became 100% sure that I'm going to be out there surfing Jaws someday. I have to do it.

What were some highlights this past year?

I won the Santa Cruz Paddlefest. All the top women were there and it was really cool to connect with all of them. The waves were absolutely perfect; it was firing. Then, about a month ago, I traveled to Nicaragua and had one of the best surf trips of my life. I went with my family and it was an absolutely amazing experience.

Goals for next year?

I want to keep doing this 100 percent. I want to travel to more places, see more people, and really just explore the world. I really want to win the ISA Worlds in Denmark next year. And someday become the Standup World Champion, of course.

Watch Annie Reickert SUP surf in Nicaragua

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